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Project and Photo Themes for WordPress

Display your projects and photos in all their glory with open source themes


If you're a DIYer, you probably have a few projects worth sharing with the world, but what's the best way to do that? Should you make a Pinterest page, post everything on Google+, or create a WordPress site? As you know all too well, the possibilities are endless!

But, if you've decided that Pinterest and Google+ are too limiting in terms of how much you can post, your best bet might be a website ... and if that's the case, why not use one of these great open source WordPress themes to get you started? Each of the themes below are designed for photos or portfolios, but with a little tweaking and some cool images, they could perfectly display your latest Raspberry Pi project, an invitation you made with open source fonts, or even your digital photos.

Note: There has been some controversy in the WordPress world about whether all themes are open source simply because they're based on WordPress (which is released under a GPL license), and WordPress itself weighed in on the subject a few years ago. According to their July 2, 2009, blog post, WordPress contacted the Software Freedom Law Center to get an official legal opinion on the matter, and they determined that "PHP in WordPress themes must be GPL, artwork and CSS may be but are not required." So, in the themes below, some of them have been released under a GPL license (allowing you full use of the files), but others may have restrictive copyrights on the images and CSS -- in either case, though, the PHP files are technically open source.


Screenshot of the Emphaino theme
Image © Srinivasan G

Emphaino is a nice composite of WordPress and Pinterest, so if you're struggling to choose between the two, this theme might be just what you're looking for. Its design and layout are reminiscent of Pinterest, but with Emphaino, you can customize the grid organization, the widgets, the navigation menu, the header, and the background image. Designed by Srinivasan G and released under the GPL license, it can be downloaded from the WordPress themes directory or GitHub.


Screenshot of the Gridspace theme
Image © Graph Paper Press

Gridspace was designed as a portfolio theme, and the simple design really would let your photos stand out. The responsive design works on mobile devices, offers seven post formats (one for audio, galleries, images, links, quotes, standard posts, and videos), and provides several customization options (colors, custom CSS, logo, and favicon). It also enables you to make slideshows, which would be a great option for highlighting a project you just finished. Designed by Graph Paper Press, it can be downloaded from their website for $75.


Screenshot of the Heat theme
Image © MegaTheme

Heat is another for-sale WordPress theme, and it's based on the concept of a giant grid of images filling up the screen. If you're really good at taking photos, this could be a great choice -- it's a very visual concept. The theme includes a few options for the grid organization, integrates with Google Maps, allows the upload of a logo, provides custom color schemes, includes eight post formats (one for audio, galleries, images, links, quotes, status updates, standard posts, and videos), and fully supports Google Web Fonts. Designed by MegaTheme, Heat can be downloaded from ThemeForest starting at $40.


Screenshot of the Mixfolio theme
Image © Graph Paper Press

Mixfolio is another theme by Graph Paper Press, but this one is free of charge! Using a three-column grid format, Mixfolio is a good choice for you if you're expecting your site to be based on a lot of photos. Like Gridspace, this theme is responsive and offers seven post formats (one for audio, galleries, images, links, quotes, standard posts, and videos), and you can also crop your thumbnails using the Admin interface and add widgets to your site. Mixfolio can be downloaded from the Graph Paper Press website.


Screenshot of the MYgRID2 theme
Image © dannci

MYgRID2 uses a four-column grid for the main page, and it comes with a widget-ready sidebar, the ability to add images to a post and have them automatically resized for the Homepage thumbnails, and the option to highlight a featured post. The color scheme isn't as customizable as some of the other themes on our list. MYgRID2 was designed by dannci, and it can be downloaded from the WordPress themes directory.


Screenshot of the Origin theme
Image © ElegantThemes

Origin is probably one of the nicest looking WordPress themes I've come across. The responsive design allows you to easily manage color schemes, navigation options, logo images, featured posts, add or remove design elements, control ads, work on SEO, and integrate social media and analytics code. The theme includes several template options, so, for example, you can add galleries, blog posts, portfolio pages, or contact pages to your site. Designed by ElegantThemes, Origin can be downloaded from their website starting at $39, but this fee is for a membership to the site, which also gets you access to 80 other themes.


Screenshot of the Photographic theme
Image © Stinkyink Themes

Photographic was designed to be a simple design, but if you're trying to draw attention to your images, this could be perfect for you. Based on the grid layout, the theme includes a sidebar widget area, a choice in the number of columns your grid will display, and the ability to change the background color or image through the WordPress interface. Designed by Stinkyink Themes, Photographic was released under the GPL license and you can download it free of charge from the WordPress themes directory.


Screenshot of the Photologger theme
Image © Emma Kitchen

Photologger is another minimalist design, but again, if you're trying to show off images of your DIY project or digital photos, what more do you really need? This theme allows you to easily customize the background, header, and social networking links, and it also automatically creates the Homepage thumbnails based on the images you upload into your posts. Designed by Emma Kitchen, Photologger can be downloaded from the WordPress themes directory.

Portfolio Press

Screenshot of the Portfolio Press theme
Image © Devin Price

Portfolio Press is slightly more bare bones when compared to the other themes listed here, but the free theme still allows you to display your images in a grid, add links, accept comments, and provides three post type options (one for galleries, images, and standard posts). Additional plugins may be needed for the customizations, but the developer site lists suggestions and instructions for getting those set up. Designed by Devin Price, Portfolio Press can be downloaded from the WordPress themes directory.


Screenshot of the Qamar theme
Image © mo3aser

Qamar is a full-featured theme, designed for agencies and freelancers, and it would be a good option for your project or photo portfolio ... with very little tweaking. The full-screen, responsive design includes two grid layout options, the ability to upload a logo and favicon, 23 background patterns, eight post template types (one for asides, audio, galleries, images, links, standard posts, videos, and quotes), 17 custom widgets, and works with Google Web Fonts and Analytics. The colors and menus are also customizable. Designed by mo3aser, Qamar can be downloaded from ThemeForest starting at $45.

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